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Date:         Wed, 30 Aug 2006 21:46:37 -0400
Reply-To:     The Catboat Association Discussion List
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Sender:       The Catboat Association Discussion List
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From:         Ken Katz <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: was pig-sticks -> now ensign
In-Reply-To:  <[log in to unmask]>
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Bob, Nice, concise, flag grammar! When I read your description "The US ensign looks best -- in my opinion -- from the peak of the gaff when sailing" I am inclined to agree. I never found a clear acceptance of gaff peak in my (old version) of Chapman's Piloting (I may well have missed it); however, I recently picked up one of the condensed guides (Chapman's nautical guides - Boating Etiquette) and therein is the very clear statement: "The national ensign should be flown in the place of honor on the boat. Traditionally the captain's domain, the stern of the vessel is still the place of honor, AS IS THE PEAK OF THE RAISED SAIL, if you happen to have a gaff-rigged vessel." Yet I notice further on in the paragraph: "Marconi -rigged sailboats can fly the flag from the leech of the aftermost sail, about two-thirds of the way up the sail, WHERE THE GAFF WOULD BE F THE BOAT WERE GAFF-RIGGED". None of the sketches I've seen in either Chapman's show's a national ensign flown from the peak of a gaff, and I'm experiencing a bit of confusion over that last phrase in relation to the first statement of placing it at the gaff-peak. What is the acceptable method? For example, if I were to use a pig-stick, could I do so without using a halyard, and simply binding with line the stick to the peak, and then raise the ensign co-incident with the raising of the sail? Thanks for your guidance. Ken > > A non-fouling pig stick at the top of the mast makes a > great wind indicator, and is the proper place to fly > your yacht club or CBA burgee. The US ensign looks > best -- in my opinion -- from the peak of the gaff > when sailing, and from a flagstaft when under power. I > however dislike making holes in my decks and have seen > too many flagstaffs go over the side. So instead of a > flagstaff I simply clip the top of the ensign to the > aft boom sheet block's shackle and the bottom of the > ensign to a cord which I clip to the traveler. The > flag is easily stored when not being used. The > forestay is for a foreign ensign. I fly my "house > flag" from the forestay as such pennants can be flown > "where best seen," and on a traditional catboat the > would be the forestay. It also about the only other > place to quickly fly a protest flag when racing. Flag > sizes and other info on flag etiquette can be found in > Chapman Piloting -- Seamanship & Small Boat Handling > -- a "must have" book in any yachtsman's library. > -Bob Luckraft >

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